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Also In Global Health News: Uganda Malaria Efforts; Child Mortality In Vietnam; Refugee Health; U.S. Aid To Somalia; HIV In South Africa

Guardian Examines Efforts To Reduce Malaria In Uganda

The Guardian examines efforts to reduce malaria in Katine, Uganda, through the distribution of insecticide-treated nets to high-risk groups. Though the article details a reduction in the number of malaria cases in the region, additional nets are needed to cover the entire population. Also, health experts warn additional strategies, such as indoor residual spraying and increased access to drugs are needed to defeat malaria (Kavuma, 10/8).

Vietnamese Plan Aims To Reduce Child Mortality

Vietnamese Deputy Health Minister Tran Chi Liem announced a plan aimed at improving health care services for children younger than age 5 with the goal of meeting the Millennium Development Goal target related to child mortality by 2015, VOVNews reports. “According to Health Ministry statistics, between 2001 and 2006, the mortality rates among children under one-year old fell from 35 to 16 per 1,000 live births, and for children under five from 42 to 26 per 1,000” (10/8).

BMJ News Examines U.N. Work To Improve Health Of Refugees

BMJ News examines how the U.N.’s refugee agency is working to improve the health of refugees, internally displaced people, asylum seekers and others throughout the world by expanding their access to health care facilities in refugee camps. “[A]bout 10 million refugees and other persons of concern in more than 120 camps in some 50 countries benefit directly from access to public health and HIV interventions supported by the agency,” the journal writes. The agency plans to focus on areas most in need of improvement in the refugee camps, including malaria control, reproductive health and malnutrition (Zarocostas, 10/7).

Aid Workers In Somalia Anticipate U.S. Funds

VOA News examines how aid workers in Somalia – a country in the midst of a humanitarian crisis – are awaiting “$50-million in relief resources … that have been held back this year because of U.S. anti-terrorism laws.” However, a recent agreement between USAID and the U.S. State and Treasury department will help money to filter into the country. The “United States is the largest donor to Somalia, providing about 40 percent of the annual aid budget, according to the news service (Ryu, 10/7).

HIV Prevalence Among Pregnant Women In South Africa Stable, Survey Says

A South African government study, released earlier this week, showed that the percentage of pregnant women ages 15-49 in South Africa who are HIV positive “has stabilized,” Agence France-Presse reports (10/6). “The 2008 National Antenatal HIV and Syphilis Prevalence Survey — based on blood samples from … pregnant women who attended antenatal clinics in 52 health districts” — found that 29.3% of pregnant women were HIV positive in 2008, compared with 29.4% in 2007. Prevalence rates among women 15-24 stood at 21.7%, while the rate for women 30-34 was 40.4%, PlusNews reports. “Age was found to be the most important risk factor,” the news service writes (10/6).

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said the results show the need for the government to collaborate with academics and researchers in an effort to address the situation, SAPA/Times LIVE reports (10/5). Motsoaledi said, “Although the increase in HIV prevalence among mothers has been stabilising over the past three years, it still remains unacceptably high,” a separate Times LIVE article reports. “I’m sitting here with hope, not despair, that next time we meet here again we will see a significant change in our figures,” he said (Lekotjolo, 10/5).